Depending on your individual thoughts on the matter, this was either a really awesome break from what had become an endurance test of the highest order, or my absence was an emotional and spiritual trial which awakened thoughts of loneliness and despair otherwise known only to death row inmates and readers of Janet Evanovich's last three books. (Seriously, Janet... just stop.)
As usual, readership increased during my time away from the blog. I hope that my renewed presence does not turn away any of these fledgling followers. This blog, much like your parent's closet, is best explored when nobody's at home. But fear not! I will almost assuredly disappear for another 3, 6, or 22 months at some point in the future, and the timid may resume readership then.
It has been my experience that, when a blog writer disappears for a long stretch of time, the return is seasoned with Epic Life News and Developments. Just to be as clear and boring as possible, I have not:
Become with Child.
Become the owner of a new and spectacular home.
Developed a legitimate sense of humor. (sorry, kids.)
However, I haven't been completely lazy!!*
* This is mostly a lie.
For those intrepid masochists who have made it this far, enjoy a brisk biannual re-cap of the past seven months! At least, what I can remember of it. To fill in the gaps in the saga, today's post will be liberally peppered with commentary from Beatrice, the Disapproving Advice Chicken.
"This post is much too long and picture heavy. You're going to alienate everyone except the shut-ins."
Yes, Beatrice. You're right. But I really don't want to create separate posts.
July boasted a trip out to the annual Revolutionary War reenactment at a local historic site, which in turn required me to stay up all night sewing things that I ended up not wearing.
I regret that I have but one bitch-face to give for my country.
School started back in August, and with it came the realization that I riddy riddy needed to get a little more motivated on that uniform project. This also represents the moment at which I declared defeat on any realistic participation in the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge, 2013. (A moment of silence please, for my good intentions.)
Why, HELLO antique original shirt-waist! So nice of you to provide a pattern!
September brought a new series of adventures. First, a childhood friend (and virtually the only person that I knew in High School that I still have any meaningful contact with) got hitched. I was a bridesmaid, and enjoyed my be-ruffled ambiguously purple-colored dress duties to the fullest.
Mistakes were made, though.
This is an un-retouched picture of the color I somehow managed to dye my hair in September. It's a shade of red usually seen only on the surface of the sun. It matched my acne beautifully, so there's the silver lining in that little cloud. Luckily, I managed to tame the beast a few weeks later with another box of goodness from the grocery store beauty aisle. (Or as I like to call it, "The Promenade of Self-Esteem Roulette".)
"You shouldn't buy discontinued hair dye from the clearance bin at Bi-Lo."
Thank you, Beatrice. I'll keep that in mind.
October holds a special place in my heart. This year was no different:
Assorted facial mucus + non-insulated floors + dress pattern = Happy 32nd Birthday to ME!
This was also the last full month of sewing before the project was due. I finally hit my stride around the third week. Meanwhile, my nephew leveled up to a whole new echelon of awesome:
The Indian Maiden is bowing her head and weeping on behalf of my Sister-in-law's home decor.
The fresh killing fields of November were finally upon me. In celebration, I spent FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT sewing without sleep.
Lest you think (as I did) that "four days without sleep" is comparable to "that week of finals in 2010 when I only got like, 6 hours of sleep total over the course of 5 days and I thought I was gonna die", think again. Going without any sleep at all for more than a day or two is pretty stupid, if you have a choice in the matter. Four days is just plain insane. Please take this as a public service announcement from your Friendly Neighborhood ThreadHead: Don't procrastinate on a project to the point that such things are even within your scope of consideration.
But, the project went up and life went on. (I'll do a project post soon. Too much to cram into this little jewel.)
The day after I installed the uniform project, I went to the Northern Carolina and spent a few days with my mother as she recovered from surgery. As soon as she was able to get around a little, I went home and jumped into finishing the school semester. In the process, I got my first "B" of graduate school.
I really, really want to whine about that. Really. But I absolutely deserved it. Sigh.
"You should have spent more time proof reading that final paper on Runaway Slave Advertisements instead of shopping for Korean cosmetics."
Thank you, Advice Chicken. But you're a little late.
December was calming. The semester was finished, the uniform project was well-received, and I finally started to re-establish normal sleep patterns. It was unseasonably warm all Winter here in Carolina-South, but we had a lot of these to make up for the snow:
Which is totally boss.
Side note! This is what the Manly Person and I made for his dad for Christmas to aid in the ongoing war against Belligerent Free-Loading Deer:
I'm looking for a few Scare-Hoes to liven up nights near the muscadine vines... pls txt.
January brought several awesome things this year. I was invited by my guy's mother to attend the MESDA seminar on textiles this year, so I began the month with a trip to Charleston with her. We got a dusting of snow in the middle of the month (and possibly another in a few days! Hurray!) and the new semester began. I've officially started my thesis, but I'm also taking an independent study in weaving. I've always wanted to learn to weave. Studying 18th century weave structures is so much more rewarding when you can relate to the method of manufacture. I have a lot to learn, but it has been pure joy so far.
I wish I could say that February has been as good, but I can't. It has been pretty tough. My constant companion and Thread-Head mascot, BatMan, is unwell. After a lethargic week followed by a day of ignoring his food, I took the Bat-Cat to the vet. Diagnosis is advanced renal failure, which means that I'm going to lose my buddy a lot sooner than I ever imagined. He was at the vet clinic several days last week, and came home yesterday evening. He goes back tomorrow for another blood test. Pretty much anything that we do for him at this point is palliative care.
I haven't been given any reason to expect a miracle, but that doesn't stop me from hoping. He's a good cat. The best. And it breaks my heart to think of what may come.
The Noble Beast, in repose.
And there you have it. The ongoing story of Alison, Were-Hag of the Southern Colonies will continue, despite the fervent prayers of some of my readers. As soon as I can motivate myself, I intend to sneak a few expository posts into the dead-air of the past months. In the meantime, thanks for checking in and Happy 2014 to my Bloggy peeps. You have been missed.
"That burning smell means that it's time to turn dinner over and cook the other side."
Yes, Beatri.... AAAGGHHHH!!!!!